How to Bond Metal to Metal Without Soldering

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Things You'll Need

  • Fine sandpaper, steel wool or emery paper

  • Damp cloth

  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) or another industrial-strength cleanser (optional)

  • Protective gloves (optional)

  • Dry lint-free cloth

  • Metal-bonding epoxy

  • Disposable bowl or plate

  • Stick or coffee-stirrer

  • Adjustable clamps

Adhesives are more practical than welding for most home projects.
Image Credit: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Bonding metals to each other is a common task in both home-based DIY projects and commercial production. Soldering is one method that is widely used to accomplish this. Soldering "glues" the pieces of metal together by melting a softer metal to act as an adhesive. While soldering is useful for many purposes, it has limitations. Tradesmen often use brazing or welding instead to create stronger joins between the metals. For homeowners, the simplest solution is an epoxy or other adhesive that is made for joining metals and similar non-porous surfaces. This requires no special skill or equipment.

Step 1

Sand the area to be joined with fine sandpaper, steel wool or emery paper to remove any surface oxidation or corrosion. Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth.

Step 2

Wash the metal pieces with trisodium phosphate (or another industrial-strength cleanser) if they have had oil or other contaminants on their surface. These cleansers are powerful corrosives, so wear protective gloves and rinse the area with clean water when you're done.

Step 3

Dry the area with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Step 4

Squeeze equal amounts from the two tubes of epoxy into a disposable bowl or plate. Mix them thoroughly with a stick or coffee stirrer to form the adhesive.

Step 5

Apply the adhesive to the areas that you wish to be bonded. Press the metal pieces together firmly, and use adjustable clamps to hold them in place. Different brands of epoxy mature at varying rates, but most require 24 hours' curing time.

Step 6

Remove the clamps and sand away any excess epoxy for a finished, professional appearance.

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